I have recently had the pleasure of working with a seven-year-old boy, and his family. He was originally brought to me, because of his lack of reading development.

However the educational assessments that I did, revealed traits of dyslexia, and mild traits of being on the Autistic Spectrum.

When anybody mentions the word Autism, a lot of people with little experience of human diversity immediately think of a particular image or two.

Perhaps:

  1. Child rocking in a corner, alone.
  2. 2. Child in their own little world, not looking, not talking, “not being there.”

After several sessions with the boy, and data collected from the boys family, I discussed the six dimensions that make up the Autistic Spectrum, according to Dr Tony Atwood.

  1. Social understanding
  2. 2. Communication
  3. 3. Emotion management
  4. 4. Cognitive abilities
  5. 5. Motor skills
  6. 6. Sensory sensitivities

http://www.himh.org.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/5836/06-Strategies-to-help-children-with-autism.pdf

Obviously his family were very aware of all of his difficulties and strengths, but after talking and reflecting with me, she realised that everything fitted together, under a big umbrella.

“I always saw his difficulties as separate from one another, I didn’t know that they could all fit together.”

This mother quickly realised, that if her child was to move forward, then she would have to pursue a formal diagnosis.

Getting a diagnosis from a paediatrician or psychiatrist for this Beautiful seven-year-old will mean:

  1. An understanding and appreciation of “Why his particular behaviour and unique traits exist.”

2. How to help him across different environments, including home and school.

3. Some Financial support for ASD Level one.

I worked out the other day that it has been nineteen years since I first started working with a young boy with Asperger’s syndrome. Through that time, I have learnt that the words Autistic Spectrum, are integrated with hundreds of pictures, each telling a child’s unique story.

© Copyright. Jane Heyden-Munro

Education Consultant

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